Exploring the Seasonal Prediction of Coastal High Water Levels and Changing Living Marine Resources

In partnership with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Science and Technology, NOAA’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program is funding 8 new three-year projects to enhance our nation’s capability to produce seasonal predictions of coastal high water levels and living marine resources. The competitively funded projects include $3.9 million in grants and $0.9 million in other awards (for a total of $4.8 million).

Nuisance flooding in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2012. Nuisance flooding has increased rapidly along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast. Photo by Amy McGovern.

NOAA strives to increase the resilience of communities to changing climate and ocean conditions through improved products and services that provide reliable climate-related information. Recent climate trends have increased the vulnerability of many U.S. communities to coastal flooding and have caused changes in the distribution and abundance of living marine resources. In addition to longer-term trends, natural seasonal variations such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (an alternating pattern of abnormally warm and cool sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean) can also affect sea levels and ocean temperatures, and ultimately coastal communities, fish stocks, and other marine life. Given the increasingly recognized link between seasonal changes in coastal ocean conditions and potentially predictable sources of climate or ocean variability, the 8 new projects aim to leverage this relationship to develop seasonal predictions of coastal high water levels and changes in living marine resources.

The new projects will provide foundational elements to increase the resiliency of coastal communities and economies, supporting the missions of NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. These groups prioritize improved coastal intelligence through products and services, and increased production and use of climate-related information in fisheries management and conservation, respectively. In addition, the funded research will complement international efforts such as the Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project, under the umbrella of the WMO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology.

The 8 new projects 1 to be funded by the MAPP Program in 2017 are:

  • “Downscaled Seasonal Forecasts for Living Marine Resource Management of the U.S. West Coast” — Lead PI: Michael Jacox (University of California, Santa Cruz); Co-PIs: Michael Alexander (NOAA/ESRL), Steven Bograd (NOAA/Southwest Fisheries Science Center), Christopher Edwards (University of California Santa Cruz), Jerome Fiechter (University of California Santa Cruz), Elliott Hazen (NOAA/Southwest Fisheries Science Center), Samantha Siedlecki (University of Washington)
  • Probabilistic Seasonal Prediction of the Distribution of Fish and Marine Mammals in the Northeast U.S. — Lead PI: Lesley Thorne (Stony Brook University); Co-PIs: Janet Nye (Stony Brook University), Hyemi Kim (Stony Brook University)
  • Seasonal Forecasting Applications for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management in the Eastern Bering Sea — Lead PI: Kerim Aydin (NOAA/Alaska Fisheries Science Center); Co-PIs: Albert Hermann (University of Washington), Phyllis Stabeno (NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory), Michael Alexander (NOAA/ESRL)
  • “Multi-Model Seasonal Sea Level Forecasts for the U.S. Coast” Lead PI: Mark Merrifield (University of Hawai’i at Manoa); Co-PIs: Matthew Widlansky (University of Hawai’i at Manoa), Philip Thompson (University of Hawai’i at Manoa), H. Annamalai (University of Hawai’i at Manoa), Arun Kumar (NOAA/CPC), William Sweet (NOAA/CO-OPS), Eric Leuliette (NOAA/STAR), John Marra (NOAA/NCEI), Gary Mitchum (University of South Florida)
  • Development and Evaluation of a Seasonal-to-Interannual Statistical Forecasting System for Oceanographic Conditions and Living Marine Resources on the Northeast U.S. Shelf — Lead PI: Young-Oh Kwon (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution); Co-PIs: Ke Chen (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Glen Gawarkiewicz (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Terry Joyce (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Janet Nye (Stony Brook University), Jon Hare (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Paula Fratantoni (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Vincent Saba (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Tim Miller (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center)
  • “Using a Synoptic Climatological Framework to Assess Predictability of Anomalous Coastal Sea Levels in NOAA High Priority Areas” — Lead PI: Scott Sheridan (Kent State University); Co-PIs: Cameron Lee (Kent State University), Doug Pirhalla (NOAA Coastal Services Center), Varis Ransibrahmanaku (NOAA/NCCOS)
  • “Understanding and Quantifying the Predictability of Marine Ecosystem Drivers in the California Current System” — Lead PI: Arthur Miller (Scripps Institution of Oceanography); Co-PIs: Antonietta Capotondi (NOAA/ESRL/PSD), Emanuele Di Lorenzo (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Experiments with Seasonal Forecasts of Ocean Conditions in the Pacific Northwest to Aid the Crab Fishery — Lead PI: Samantha Siedlecki (University of Washington); Co-PIs: Issac Kaplan (NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center), Nicholas Bond (University of Washington), Al Hermann (University of Washington), Jan Newton (University of Washington), Mike Alexander (NOAA/ESRL), Simone Alin (NOAA PMEL)
1 At the time of publication, all awards may not have been accepted by recipient institutions

2018 Federal Funding Opportunities at a Glance

Important Dates/Deadlines

Letters of Intent

(LOIs) for all three competitions should be received through email by 5:00 p.m. ET on January 5, 2018

Full Applications

Full applications for the RISA competition must be received by 5:00pm on March 5, 2018.

Full applications for COCA/RISA and IRAP competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 16, 2018.

Applications received after these dates and times will not be considered for funding.

Applications must be submitted via www.grants.gov. For applications submitted through grants.gov, the basis for determining timeliness is the receipt notice issued by www.grants.gov, which includes the date and time received.

For applicants without internet access,

please contact the CPO Grants Manager Diane Brown by mail at NOAA Climate Program Office (R/CP1), SSMC3, Room 12734, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 to obtain an application package. Please allow two weeks after receipt for a response. Hard copy submissions will be date and time stamped when they are received in the Climate Program Office.

Emailed or faxed copies of applications will not be accepted.

Competitions/Information Sheets

Competition 1: RISA – South Central Region

Contact: Meredith Muth
Applicants should consider tackling interconnections among multiple issues relevant to a region as opposed to an individual project addressing site-specific analysis. Climate will have implications for a myriad of interconnected management and planning decisions in the region. From their own research and interactions with decision makers, applicants should identify the most important climate-sensitive issues and management challenges for their proposed region. Special consideration should be given to those communities or stakeholders in the regions for whom there is currently less direct engagement with climate information science and service providers/entities. Applicants should also consider NOAA mission-oriented topics that could benefit from the work of a RISA who could integrate information from and work across multiple issues. RISA activities should address a number of the societal challenges identified in NOAA’s Next-Generation Strategic Plan (NGSP): i) climate impacts on water resources; ii) coasts and climate resilience; iii) sustainability of marine ecosystems; and iv) changes in the extremes of weather and climate. These efforts support NOAA’s vision to create and sustain enhanced resilience in ecosystems, communities, and economies, as outlined in the NGSP. We do not, however, anticipate that a proposed RISA would work solely in these areas.

Competition 2: COCA/RISA – Pilot on Coastal Climate Extension Competition

Contact: Adrienne Antoine / Lisa Vaughan
The COCA and RISA programs are collaborating on a two-year pilot project to support and expand coastal climate extension within the RISA network. For FY18, the COCA program is soliciting proposals for coastal climate extension specialists in up to two RISA coastal regions (Mid-Atlantic and South Central).

Competition 3: IRAP - Decision Support Research on Climate-Sensitive Health Risks

Contact: Lisa Vaughan
IRAP will consider proposals for interdisciplinary, applied science, stakeholder engagement, and capacity building that advances the integration of weather and climate research, assessments and services in practical risk management settings related to health risks that affect US interests at home and abroad. Health risks of particular interest include: temperature-related mortality and illness; infectious and vector borne diseases; flooding due to extreme events such as hurricanes; air quality impacts; water and food-borne illnesses; nutrition, and food and water distribution. Specifically, IRAP will consider proposals related to the following: 1) Decision Support Research and Application on Climate-Sensitive Health Risks in Transboundary Regions of the United States, in Partnership with the NOAA/CSI Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment Program; and 2) Developing and Using Subseasonal and Seasonal Global Health Risk Maps, Prediction Tools and Information to Anticipate and Manage Climate-Sensitive Health Risk.

Where to Submit

Application packages:
Visit Grants.gov and
click on Apply for Grants. You may also directly view the Grants.gov listing here.

Federal Funding Opportunity Number:

Applicants without Internet access:
Please send mail to:
Diane Brown
CPO Grants Manager
NOAA Climate Program Office (R/CP1), SSMC3, Room 12734
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Please allow two weeks after receipt for a response.

For Federal Investigators

Federal lead investigators who wish to apply to this Announcement of Opportunity must prepare a proposal according to the FFO guidelines and submit the proposal to the program manager directly, instead of to Grants.gov. Federal co-investigators must submit a proposal identical to the proposal lead's but with personalized budget information.

Letters of Intent for Federal investigators should be received by the Competition Manager by 5:00 p.m. ET on January 5, 2018 for all competitions.

Full applications for the RISA competition must be received by 5:00pm on March 2, 2018. Full applications for COCA/RISA and IRAP competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 13, 2018.


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


Climate Program Office
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